'Inside Burma: Land of Fear' was first broadcast in May 1996. It was written and presented by John Pilger and produced and directed by David Munro. The film detailed the many injustices and human rights abuses that have so badly marked the country's past and present. Amnesty International has described Burma as a 'prison without bars' of a country which has a beauty and resources probably unequalled in Asia. Yet it is also a secret country. Isolated for the past 34 years since a brutal military dictatorship seized power in Rangoon, this rich country has been relegated to one of the world's poorest with the suffering of its people mostly unseen.
The generals who crushed democracy in Burma have ruled with a regime so harsh, bloody and uncompromising that the parallels with Cambodia under Pol Pot and East Timor under Suharto are striking. According to the United Nations, untold thousands have been forced from their homes, massacred, tortured and subjected to a modern form of slavery. How was this country allowed to descend in such dramatic fashion and, after the pro-democracy uprisings of 1988, are its people any closer to being granted their rights to a vote and an economic system which will reward their labour?